Plumber’s tape is a thin film used to seal pipe threads against leaking. Plumber’s tape is also called thread seal tape, Teflon tape or PTFE tape, but they are all made from a thin polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) film and come in different widths for different uses.
What is plumber’s tape used for?
Threaded seal tape is used to create a water-tight seal on tapered pipe threads.The tape helps to fill in gaps in the threading when pipes are joined together, creating a seal. The tape also helps to lubricate threads, make installation easier. Pipe threads that have plumber’s tape applied will also be easier to take apart in the future.
Threaded seal tape can usually be used on connections that don’t have a rubber gasket. Threaded seal tape can be used on all types of pipe, including copper, brass, plastic and steel. Threaded seal tape is frequently used to attach shower heads to the shower arm and on threaded tub spouts.
How to use plumber’s tape
In order to work correctly, plumber’s tape must be used properly, which means wrapping it around the pipe in the proper direction. The tape should be applied so that it will not loosen when you join the pipes, this means wrapping the tape clockwise around the exposed thread.
Two to three turns around each section of pipe to be covered will be sufficient and there is no need to wrap the tape all the way to the end of the pipe. You can leave a small section of exposed pipe.
The tape can be easily ripped by hand. Just pinch it tightly on either side of your desired tear point and pull briskly.
If you unscrew the pipe fitting you will need to replace the plumber’s tape in order to get a new, tight seal.